THE TIDE IS TURNING FOR THESE TRIBES
While several schemes exist to aid denotified tribes, they are unable to reap benefits due to lack of identity cards. In 2004, Mittal Patel, then a 20-year-old journalist and an aspiring civil servant, visited Necknaam, a large basti of nomadic tribes an hour away from Rajkot. Moved by their plight, she decided to make efforts to give them identity cards and make them a vote bank. After years of struggle, for the first time in December 2017 prior to the Gujarat elections, the BJP and the Congress held meetings with these tribes to seek their votes. The battle for the enfranchisement of these tribes is considered a landmark in electoral inclusion.